The greyhound dog breed have a very unique build; they are slender with a narrow head and long legs. Its no surprise that they make such excellent sprinters. But what is their coat like. More specifically, does it shed like it can do with other dogs and is it likely to collect around the home? These are important considerations for any owner; especially those with allergies. I decided to spend some time researching the topic. I would like to share with you what I found here today.
So, do greyhounds shed? Greyhounds do shed their coats but only do so lightly. They do, however, shed more during the fall and spring seasons as they prepare their coat for the change of weather. Generally, their short coat is easy to maintain and requires minimal brushing to prevent hair from collecting around the home.
Greyhounds have a short light coat and do not possess a heavy undercoat (which would normally need to be maintained).
Moreover, the greyhound coat does not build up oils or dander; making them less prone to doggy odors and smells.
Equally, many greyhounds will groom and clean themselves; making them an excellent choice of dog for those people who suffer from allergies.
Greyhounds are streamlined, and this includes their coat.
Many owners report how little it needs to be maintained and how pleasantly surprised they are at how little they need to do to keep it at its best.
That being said, just like with any other dog breed, a greyhound does need regular grooming to remain comfortable, healthy and hygienic.
Let us now take a closer look at how much you can expect to shed before turning to some of the other main questions commonly asked about the coat and what this will mean if you were to own one.
How Bad Do Greyhounds Shed?
Greyhounds are short, light, sleek and easy-care coats that can come in a number of different colors (including: white, fawn, blue (grey), black and brindle.
Either way, greyhounds are considered to be low shedders; and generally do not release their fur too regularly or too much at any one time.
However, with this being said, greyhounds do go through seasonal shedding just like any other breed of dog.
Seasonal shedding is essentially where a dog prepares for the upcoming season. So you would expect a greyhound to shed more during the spring and the fall.
In the spring, you can expect a greyhounds coat to become even lighter, in preparation for the warm weather.
Equally, in the fall a greyhound will prepare for the winter and shedding will increase so that they can grow out a slightly longer coat to keep them warm in the colder months.
In time, shedding will go back to regular levels in this breed and become more consistent in the remaining months of the year.
However, it is important to note that irrespective of seasonal shedding, the greyhound coat remains thin and light most of the time.
For this reason, as owners we must be aware of two potential concerns that this can bring:
- Greyhounds are prone to suffer in colder weather. They can get the ‘shivers’ if the temperature drops too low or they are exposed to rain or snow.
- Due to the lack of a heavy coat, a greyhound is more vulnerable to scrapes, tears, and nicks.
For these reasons, it is often recommended that you get your greyhound a warm coat to keep them warm and protect their skin.
There are a lot of coats available on Amazon, that have been measured for greyhounds, which thankfully help us to overcome these issues.
You’ll also need to be careful about leaving them outdoors, especially for any extended period of time.
So, while it is excellent news to discover that they shed minimally, they are dogs with fur. They shed lightly, but they do ultimately shed – just a small amount compared to other breeds.
There are also some reports from owners that adopted their greyhounds that their dog shed a lot more initially, and soon after taking them home.
It is hypothesized that greyhounds may grow out a “kennel coat”, which is fuzzier, to keep them warmer and protect from the rougher surfaces of their living conditions.
This is something to consider, but it is also noted that shedding reduces in time, once the dogs have adapted to home living and back to the breed standard.
Are Greyhounds Hypoallergenic?
Greyhounds are not considered to be hypoallergenic dog breed.
However, many people who suffer from allergies and suffer around dogs generally do not have any issues with greyhounds.
It is actually, dead skin cells, urine and saliva that can cause allergies to flare, and not necessarily the releasing of fur like some people are led to believe.
But, as we have already mentioned, as greyhounds have short coats, it is not able to carry as many dead skin cells or saliva.
Equally, a greyhound’s skin is known to not produce as many natural oils (which can cause dander).
Moreover, the chemical composition of a greyhounds dander and saliva are different compared to other breeds.
Therefore greyhounds are considered a low allergen breed. Of course, they could potentially cause allergies in people who suffer these ailments – but that will depend on the individual, the context etc.
Why Do Greyhounds Shed?
Albeit minimal, greyhounds shed their coats like most other dogs as a natural bodily process.
The purpose of shedding is to remove damaged or old fur, and to enable their coat to remain healthy and be able to serve its purpose.
A dogs coat is essential to protect their most important organ, their skin. It must be able to protect from the environment, including the weather.
A dogs coat also helps to maintain an optimal internal body temperature, which must not be too hot or too cold.
What Influences Shedding In Greyhounds
While greyhounds are not known to shed much, if at all, there are certain factors that can influence the amount of shedding.
Let us now take a closer look at the main ones below:
- If your greyhound was raised from a pup or adopted,
- Seasonal factors- fall and spring coat blow outs,
- How hot or cold you keep your home,
- Local climate/weather,
- Whether you leave your greyhound outside often,
- Whether you put a warm coat on your greyhound,
- How often you brush them
As you can see, a lot of these factors are within an owners control.
Therefore, it is fair to say that you can help reduce shedding in your dog by ensuring that you provide them with a comfortable and optimal environment.
This means that you keep them sufficiently warm throughout the year.
You should never leave your dog outside in the cold, or subject them to the elements where possible.
This will prevent them from instinctively growing out a longer coat to keep them warm which will ultimately be shed.
It also means regularly brushing them and providing them with an optimal high quality diet. This will keep their coat in a better condition, meaning that their coat does not need to be replaced as regularly.
Some owners even report that their greyhound sheds when stressed; such as following a visit to the vets. You therefore must do all you can to keep your greyhound calm, and less anxious as much as possible.
Of course, there are factors outside of your control and some shedding will also be experienced. This is just part of owning a dog; and occurs in most if not all breeds to some extent.
How To Groom Your Greyhound
Despite being a low shedding breed, greyhounds still require continual and regular grooming. While it is fair to say that it may be less compared to other breeds, its an important activity nonetheless.
It is generally advised to brush a greyhound daily to keep shedding at a manageable and appropriate level.
As greyhounds carry a short coat, it is very important that you use appropriate and effective tools.
The following come recommended by veterinarians for the greyhound:
- Slicker Brush (here’s the best one on Amazon) – to gently remove any knots or matts in the coat
- Grooming Gloves (here’s the best pair on Amazon) – to move all the loose fur and dirt to to the top
- Bristle Brush (here’s the best one on Amazon)- to remove the loose fur and dirt.
You should never use scissors on this breeds coat to cut matts out!
By using those appropriate tools above, your greyhound will love being massaged and stroked as you groom them.
From there, you can look to use a dog-friendly shampoo infrequently (once per month) to bathe them and keep their coat in optimal, clean and great-smelling condition.
You’ll want to keep your greyhounds ears clean by using a soft, moist cotton ball. Be careful not to be intrusive, or ever place anything directly into the ear canal. Instead, you just want to clean around the outer ear.
Look out for redness or odor as this could suggest that they have developed an ear infection. In this instance, you’ll need to consult a vet.
It’s important that you keep your dogs mouth hygienic.
Greyhounds are renowned for having poor dental health, so you will need to undertake regular cleaning to prevent tar from building up which can lead to bad breath. Some toys serve this purpose, or alternatively, you can get chews.
Look to keep your greyhound’s nails trimmed monthly. This will prevent them from growing out too long and becoming painful.
Any clicking, noises, difficultly walking, or bleeding implies they have grown out too long. You can use a pair of safe clippers, or alternatively, get your vet/groomer to trim the nails on your behalf.
Lastly, it is imperative that your get your greyhound used to grooming and being brushed while young.
This will help relax them during the process and prevent any anxiety and stress this activity may otherwise bring.
Do all you can to make grooming feel positive; give plenty of praise, treats and rewards.
Grooming also serves as an ideal opportunity to inspect your greyhound. You can look for sores, rashes, tenderness, or inflammation across their body.
The recommended places to look include the eyes, feet, nose, mouth and skin.
If you suspect something is not right with your greyhound, take them to a vet at the earliest opportunity.
Greyhounds do shed; albeit lightly and infrequently.
When you compare the greyhound to other breeds, you soon realize that their coats are relatively easy to maintain and look after.
In fact, greyhounds will naturally groom themselves, just like in cats. They do their utmost to keep themselves clean and maintain their short coats.
Taking it one step further, there are specific factors to be aware of that can help keep shedding to an absolute minimal.
While shedding is never likely to become an issue with the greyhound, it can increase if their environment does not meet their needs.
By taking the best care of your greyhound; keeping them sufficiently warm, regularly grooming them, feeding them a high quality diet etc, you will naturally minimize shedding.
From there, you just will need to contend with some minor seasonal shedding around the the spring and the fall.
Its not usually an issue, as most greyhound owners report anyway.